24th Turkish Adolescent Psychiatry Symposium

By Esra Demirci, Chair, CAP Department, Erciyes University and Füsun Çuhadaroğlu, Chair, Adolescent Committee, TACAP

This year, the 24th Adolescent Psychiatry Symposium, was held in Kayseri, Turkey on 21-23 November 2019 in collaboration between the Turkish Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (TACAP) and Erciyes University Department of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Erciyes University Conference Centre hosted many mental health professionals from all over Turkey. As the symposium has a different theme about adolescence each year, this year’s theme was decided to be ‘Self-Injury and Suicidal Behaviour’. The opening speeches were delivered by the Dean of Erciyes University Medical School, Prof. Dr. Hakan Poyrazoglu and Prof. Dr Fusun Cuhadaroglu (Chair of Adolescent Committee, TACAP and co-chair of the Adolescence Symposium) who noted that the Adolescent Psychiatry Symposium has been held annually since 1996 and emphasized that the self-injurious behaviour is seen in increasing rates in many countries around the world as well as in Turkey and is becoming a public health problem among adolescents.

Dr. Marshall S. Korenblum lecturing on NSSI and DBT

All about Self-Injury and Suicidal Behaviour 
During the symposium, renowned lecturers from different universities around the country discussed non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide on a wide spectrum including the epidemiology, comorbidity, self-regulation, resilience, identity confusion, attachment, crisis management, psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches. Panel discussions were held on ‘Identity Formation and Self-Injury’, ‘Adolescent Suicide and Neurobiology of NSSI, ‘Crisis Situations in Suicide and Self-Injurious Behaviour’, ‘Digital World and Self-Injury – Online Games’.

Dr. Marshall S. Korenblum, medical director of the Sick Kids Center for Mental Health, Toronto University, delivered keynote lectures entitled ‘Understanding Self-Injurious Behaviour in Adolescence’ and ‘The Role of Emotional Dysregulation and DBT in the Treatment of NSSI’. The symposium program also included case presentations and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) approaches were discussed through case presentations from Turkey.

The program included a discussion of the influence of the media on the subject, as a force shaping the values, opinions and trends of society. The relationship between internet, media, online games and ‘suicidal contamination’ and self-injury was thoroughly discussed with an emphasis on the measures to be taken. The responsibility of media was underlined and a detailed statement on the topic was prepared.

Organizing committee with their Ebru (traditional Turkish art) presents from a local artist.